"Royally Great Designs"

Monthly Archives: June 2013


One of my entries into last year’s Phoenix Art’s 40 Art Show

I’m putting the finishing touches on my entries for this year’s 40 Art Show. What is 40 Art you ask? It is the brain child of our local go to for the artists in Bucks County, Phoenix Art. Its the place we all go for art supplies and inspiration. It was started many years ago to expose the community to the great avaiable and to encourage purchasing art for art’s sake . All pieces must be 5″x7″ and they may be any type of medium. The artist can be published, famous, unknown, young, old it doesn’t matter because the playing field is set to be even for all. The idea is to have art be affordable to everyone.


A black & white entry from a past 40 Art Show

All the work is placed unframed and unsigned on  racks that wrap around the tent out behind the store and without the names of the artists apparent till the item is purchased. The anticipation is high and attendance even higher. The line will wrap around the store and out the door of those ready with cash in hand, waiting for the countdown to begin. Since the art is hung anonymously you are drawn to pieces because you like them, not the artist’s name and their collectible value. For some lucky people, their 40 dollar investment will end up being worth considerably more if the particular artist they purchased is famous.

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A lazy little turtle 40 art entry

You can imagine the scene when at the appointed hour the golden curtain is dropped. People rush in and begin calling out to the attendants the pieces that they would like to purchase. It is not uncommon to hear cheers as the artist are revealed, it is quite an exciting event. I myself have many framed pieces throughout my home that are 5″x7″ from past events, in many a variety of mediums. All the pieces are loved as they were purchased because they were admired. Some are well known, some are not, but honestly in the Hamilton household all are appreciated the same.

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Just a sampling of the over 300 pieces entered into last year’s show

You’ll have to attend the show and see what my entries will be. Have I peeked your curiosity yet? If you’d like to enter yourself or would like more information on the event visit their website at http://phoenixartstuff.com/40art . I hope to see you under the tent July 19th. Happy art hunting!


Shhh… its a secret, can’t reveal this years art yet, you’ll have to come to Phoenix Art on the 19th.





In 1997 our community gathered to perform a “barn raising” of sorts at a community playground in Doylestown, PA. Businesses, families, artists, carpenters and community members worked together to create a place for the local children to play, explore and dream. The result of many months of planning and weeks of hard work were unveiled on June 22, 1997. I am proud to say that my family was part of that original “barn raising” of our local castle. My husband brought his hands, hammer and woodworking talents, while I wheeled a paint brush. I had fun creating store fronts and funny little elements to go along with the castle.

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Original construction of Kids Castle circa 1997

It was a happy day as Dawn Byers, the spearhead of the cause, officially opened the playground. Our four children, then 1, 3, 6 and 9 have spent many hours exploring the giant playground and we have lots of happy memories to prove it.


Opening day June 22, 1997

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My husband Keith and our 4 kids, opening day of Kids Castle


My now 22 and 24 year old sons hamming it up at Kids Castle

Fifteen years later the castle has been loved immensely by  children of all ages and was in need of repairs and sprucing up. Dawn Byers whose children like mine were no longer toddling around the the playground and were instead heading off to college, stepped back in to once again take up the mantle of leader to get the job done. I admire the woman and leader Dawn is, she is always involved with ways to make our community better. Knowing that the repairs were coming I contacted Dawn to let her know I would once again be happy to help paint and repair anything I could help with. The art committee then asked me to take on the project of creating and painting two knights to guard and grace the refurbished castle. I said I would, knowing that I would also be finishing up my semester projects at Moore College of Art and would eventually see the light of day, to paint my knights. Bad pun I know, but couldn’t resist.

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Kid’s Castle Doylestown PA

I love the quote on the home page of the Save Kids Castle website, “If everyone does a little, we can accomplish a lot”. That sums up just about anything in life, especially where community and making a difference is involved. So I did my “little” and worked on the two new men in my life, squeezing in time in the barn to bring the knights alive. I am proud to say that this past weekend my husband and I delivered Mr. Blue and Mr. Red to the art committee to await their anti-graffiti coats and a date to begin guarding the new and improved Kids Castle. There are still improvements in stages to come and money to raise to insure Kids Castle remains safe and standing for the generations to come. I have agreed to continue to help paint for the art committee and have no idea what the next canvas to bring to life will be, but I am ready and excited for the challenge.


The boys awaiting their trip to the Castle

If you would like to donate time or money to the cause or just wish to find out more information please go to their website at http://www.savekidscastle.org/ I hope to see you at the “Castle” this summer.



Just when you are about to give up on a dream, the universe will smile upon you and show you the way. We had been searching for a furry addition to our family after our beloved sheltie, Lady, had passed two springs ago. She was with us for 13 wonderful years, even traveling with us in an RV on a whirl-wind family vacation through New England, when the kids were little. Her’s would be a big place to fill in our hearts.


Our beloved sheltie Lady

Lady was a very special member of our family and we needed time to mourn, but we also needed to find the perfect fit for us. The future member would need to fold into our current family of 4 kids, Mon and Dad, a cat named Charlie, a love bird named Pepe, but most importantly our king charles cavalier spaniel, Allie. We thought that we might like the addition to be a golden-doodle like my grand-pup, Bizzo. He  is a very sweet and gentle young man and has often stayed with us. He even spent several months at the farm, when Dylan, after graduating from Florida State University, went to Australia for ten months to pursue his passion for rugby .


My grand-puppy Bizzo

Once we made the decision as to what type of pup, we spent several months investigating and attempting to find a doodle rescue. Seems they are a beloved breed for many as they would go as fast as we’d spot them. Till one Friday night while watching TV with my husband and browsing the dog sites on the web, I came across a picture that was new. My interest was immediately peaked. The next morning I contacted the breeder and made arrangements for my daughter and I to drive out to meet this little ball of fur. She was one of two born in a litter and her brother had just found a new home too.

This is the picture that launched a thousand smiles

Once we arrived and met her, needless to say we were instantly in love and there was no way we were heading home without her. So we agreed to take her, finished all the paperwork and headed home, anxious to see how Allie would feel about her new “little” sister. The puppy was a trooper on the ride home, no fussing, no crying, she just curled up in my daughter’s lap.


As my daughter says, our “little nugget”

Once we arrived home we introduced the two pups. We knew she would be a good fit when she and Allie began to play and run around the yard. Allie has even tolerated the puppy chewing on her ears and pulling her by the tail. Everyone’s hearts were full that day.


Sydney and Allie’s first hellos

I guess the lessons to this story are, that although a beloved friend will never be replaced, the heart  has the capacity to grow and be filled with more love. Patience would be another lesson, something that I am constantly being reminded of. With patience the universe will present the right opportunities to you. Despite the fact that we couldn’t agree on a name for three weeks, Sydney is now officially part of the Hamilton clan. She brings us daily reminders to slow down, play, smile and enjoy the little things in life.


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